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Chapter 16. Chronology Of The British India (Indian History Notes)



Europeans had a great demand for Indian products such as Indian spices like pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and such other things which provoked them to start trading in India. At that time the commercial activities of Asia was being controlled by the Arabs. In 1400 AD trade was proved to be immensely profitable and Italy was treated as a distribution centre for the spices obtained from India. The sea voyage of Europeans had started in India much before the establishment of Moghul Empire as they were well aware of India’s prosperity.


In 1498, a Portuguese navigator, Vasco da Gama, came to Calicut on the western coast of India for the first time with a motive of trading. With this, he became the first European to re-establish trade relations with India. Primarily his finding was confined only to find new trade route from Europe to Asia via Cape of Good Hope. He was well-received by the Zamorin of Calicut. He returned back to Portugal in 1499 AD. His second visit to India was in 1502 followed by the arrival of Pedro Alvarez Cabral in 1500 which led to the establishment of Portuguese Trading Centers at Calicut, Cannanore and Cochin.
Objective of Portuguese Advent:
• The maritime empire of Portuguese was named as Estado da India, which were primarily confined to the control of Indian export to Europe but in later age they monopolised the port-to-port trade on the Malabar Coast and trade from Indian to Persian Coast.
• Initially their trade was restricted only to export spices from India but later on they had shifted their focus to other valuable items such as wheat, rice, silk and precious stone.
• The growth of European trade was hampered by sending fleet annually so the term was extended on three year basis by the Portuguese Governors.
Portuguese Governors:
Francisco De Almeida(1505-1509)
1. He was the First governor and viceroy of Portuguese India, appointed by King Manuel I of Portugal 2. He erected forts in Anjediva, Cochin, Cannanore, and refused to cede office until after Battle of Diu.
3. He initiated the Blue Water Policy, which aimed at the Portuguese Mastery of the Sea and confined portuguese relationship with India only for the purpose of trade & commerce.
Alfonzo-De-Albuquerque (1509-1550):
1. He was the second Portuguese Governor and Viceroy of India who controlled Persian gulf and Red sea; established head quarters on western coast of India and destroyed the Arab Trade in Malay Peninsula.
2. He conquered Goa in 1510 from the Sultan of Bijapur.
3. He encouraged the propagation of Christianity & intermarriage with the natives 4. He died at Table Bay, on return voyage, in march 1510.
The Impact of Portuguese:
1. The Portuguese began to spread Christianity in the Malabar & the Konkan coast. Missionaries like St.
Francis Xavier, Father Rudolf & Father Monserette played a leading role in propagating the Christian faith.
2. The Missionaries started schools & colleges along the west coast, where education was imparted in the native language.
3. The missionaries undertook research on Indian history and culture. The Portuguese brought the printing press to India. The Bible came to be printed in the Kannada & Malayalam language.
4. The Portuguese brought some crops to India like Tobacco, some fruits & vegetables were also introduced by him potatoes, lady’s finger, chilly, pineapple, sapota, groundnuts, etc.
Causes for Decline of Portuguese:
1. After Albuquerque the Portuguese administration in India became inefficient because his successor were weak & inefficient.
2. The Portuguese officials were neglected by the home government. Their salaries were low. Thus they indulged in corruption and malpractice.
3. The Portuguese adopted forced inter-marriage & conversion to the Christian faith which made the natives hostile.
4. In 1580 Portugal was merged with Spain which neglected the Portuguese interest in India.
5. The Portuguese has to face the stiff competition of the Dutch in India.
6. Portuguese discovered Brazil which diverted their attention from India.
Portuguese Colony in India:
Establishment of trading stations gave rise to small colonies of Portuguese had also been developed in the coastal part of India, such as Calicut, Coachin, Cannanore, Daman, Salsette, Chaul, Bombay,San Thome near Madras and Hoogli in Bengal. Cochin was the first capital of Portuguese in India which later shifted to Goa by Nino da Cunha.


The Portuguese enjoyed trade monopoly over the Arabian Sea till the 17th century. The complete monopoly of the Dutch over trade and commerce of Indonesia was another reason as to why they left India. The decline of Portuguese had started with the advent of Dutch in 1605. The Dutch East India Company of Netherlands was formed in 1592 to trade with East Indies. Cornelis Houtman was the first Dutch to come to India. The Dutch established trading centres at Nagapatnam in Tamil Nadu, Machlipatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Chinsora in Bengal & at Mahe on the Malabar Coast. The headquarters of the Dutch in India was Nagapatnam. The Dutch could not withstand the stiff competition of the Portuguese and the English and thus left India.
Techniques of Trade:
1. Dutch occupied the Indian subcontinent from 1605 to 1825 with an aim of trade of various items.
2. Merchants of the Dutch East India Company first established themselves in Dutch Coromandel, notably Pulicat, as they were looking for textiles to exchange with the spices they traded in the East Indies.
3. Apart from textiles, the items traded in Dutch India include precious stones, indigo, and silk across the Indian Peninsula, saltpeter and opium in Dutch Bengal, and pepper in Dutch Malabar.
4. The excellent business techniques of Dutch can be illustrated from the fact that they started trading without the interference of middle man to earn maximum profit.
5. They became commercially active in India and they introduced coins to be used in trading with local importance.
Dutch Settlements in India:
Like Portuguese the Dutch union too established their settlements along the coasts of India which were of commercial interests. Important among them were:
(i) Malabar Coast :
Though primarily the Dutch opted for Malabar coast of India, later they found it to be less profitable as the spice trade of Malabar was less valuable then cloth trade of Coromandel Coast. Vengurla was the only coast occupied by Dutch. After a bitter struggle of Power the Dutch were defeated by the English in the Battle of Bedara, 1759.
(ii) Coromandel Coast:
Admiral Van Hagen started trade with then Coromandel Coast by setting up permanent settlement in Masulipatnam in early 1605. Soon another factory was founded at Devanampatnam (Tegnapatnam) or Fort St. David. In 1610 AD Dutch established another factory on the Pulicat coast and named it as Fort Geldria in honour of the home province of Van Berchem, the Director General of the Coromandel Factories.
(iii) Trade in Bengal
The Dutch East India Company started trading with Bengal from 1615. In 1627, a trading post was established in Pipli. In addition they set up colonies at Chinsurah adjacent to Hooghly during 1627 which facilitated trade in opium, salt, muslin and spices. A fort called Fort Gustavius, a church and several other buildings were built. A famous Frenchman, General Perron who served as military advisor to the Mahrattas, was also settled in this Dutch colony near Bengal Coast. They have also settled factories in Pipli which later on shifted to Balasore , but remained in neglected state as the focus was maximum on Chinsura.


Captain Williams Hawkins was the first English who came to India with a purpose of trade during the tenure of Mughal Emperor Jehangir & received permission to do the same at Surat. Initially both Indians and Europeans were benefitted by the trade. During these early days, the British fought with other Europeans to gain monopoly over trade. In the early part of the 17th century the British were able to overcome the Portuguese in these conflicts. They became victorious even against the Dutch towards the end of the 18th century.
• After Captain Williams Hawkins, Captain Best came to India and got permitted to start a factory at Surat.
• He defeated the Portuguese in the Battle of Swalley near Surat.
• In 1615, Sir Thomas Roe visited the court of Jehangir and obtained trade concessions.
• With due course of time several trading centers were emerged at different places in India such as Madras, Machalipatnam, Hariharpur, Balasore , Kasim bazaar and Hoogly.
• The company obtained Bombay from the English King Charles II who received it as a part of dowry, when he married the Potuguese Princess Catherine.
• The English acquired three villages in Bengal which later developed to become Calcutta. The later Moghul Emperor Farookhsiyar granted the English the firman which permitted them to carry on duty free trade in Bengal. The Headquarters of the English Company in India was Madras.
• During this phase the internal conflicts of kings had gone up to great extents which incited the English to take part in the internal wars of the kings. They started helping the kings with their military tricks and troops and sometimes their alliance had a great victory over the enemies which made English rapacious and they started taking undue advantages from winning party.
• Thus the English permanently settled in India till 1947.
In 1707 the different trading companies came together to form the “United Company of the Merchants of England trading to East Indies”. It was this Company which carried on trade & commerce with India till 1857.
Exports: Textile woven with specific patterns were the main attraction of trade with British East India Company followed by indigo, saltpeter, and Opium.
Imports: The prime products imported at Coromandel Coasts were sandalwood and pepper from Archipelago, Copper from Japan and Textile from China.


• French were the last European community which came to India during 1664 AD. The French East India Company was established by Jean Baptiste Colbert, the Minister of Louis XIV, the Bourban king of France. They were authorized to carry on commerce and establish colonies in the East Indies.
• The first French Factory had established in Surat in 1667 under the state patronage of Gujarat. In 1669 the second French factory was established at Masulipatnam by securing patent from the Sultan of Golconda.
• The well-known French Viceroy in India is Franco Martin. He extended the French commercial activities in India by establishing French settlements at Balasore, Chinsurah Masulipatnaam, and Pondicherry. Among which Pondicherry was considered to be the most important settlement of French and hence designated as the Headquarters of French in India.
French Governors
Joseph-Francois Dupleix, the most powerful Governor of French possessions was appointed in 1742. He had entered into agreements with native rulers so as to fulfil his dream of establishing French Supremacy over India. During his governance French power reached its peak. He succeeded in establishing his supremacy over the Carnatic and the Deccan which became a threat to British. But towards the end of his term the French started losing their ground to British in 1753- 54. In early 1760 they completely lost their power and position to British in India. This Anglo- French rivalry can be best illustrated by the three Carnatic wars fought between French and English from 1745 to 1763.
(a) First Carnatic War (1746 A.D. – 1748 A.D.):
• Also known as : Battle of Thomas.
• Parties involved : French forces Vs. Forces of Anwarud-din, the Nawab of Carnatic backed by English people. Consequences : Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was signed and Madras was handed over to English again.
French got territories of South India.
(b) Second Carnatic War (1749 A.D. – 1754 A.D.):
• Parties Involved : Dupleix along with Chanda Sahib Vs. Nasirjang and Muhammad Ali supported by British • Consequences : The party of Muhammad Ali defeated Chanda sahib and captured Trichinopoly.
(c) Third Carnatic War (1757 A.D. – 1763 A.D.):
• Also known as: The seven year’s war • Parties involved : French vs English • Consequences : The treaty started with capturing French colonies of Chandan Nagar by British in 1757 and concluded with termination of Peace of Paris treaty.


With the descent of mighty Mughal Empire, a large number of new states started growing all over India in 18th century.
They continued to remain prominent till 20th century. These autonomous states were established with their own viable economic as well as law and order systems. In addition the administrations of individual states were having a good control over the surplus production of the peasants which helped them to establish the local centers of power and patronage.
The newly formed states were Hyderabad, Carnatic, Bengal, Awadh, Mysore, Rajputana and Punjab.
• The state of Hyderabad was first envisaged by the Viceroy of Deccan, Zulfiqar Khan who administered the state with the help of Daud Khan since 1708.
• Later he appointed Nizam-ul-Mulk as the Subedar of Deccan who succeeded in laying the foundation of the state with his witty political understandings.
• He played a crucial role in overthrowing Sayyid brothers.
• As a Wazir he ruled his land as the sole authority but without being independent by the Central Government.
• He practiced tolerant policies towards Hindus as he had appointed Puran Chand as his Diwan.
• The orderly administration was quiet similar to that of Jagirdari System of the Mughal Empire.
• Marathas were kept aloof of his dominion, but after his death Hyderabad became the victim for Delhi Sultanate.
• It came under the rule of Nizam of Hyderabad as one of the subas of Mughal Dynasty.
• The Nawab of the Carnatic, Saadullah Khan freed himself from the support of the Viceroy of the Deccan by taking advantage of the weakness of Nizam.
• He also appointed his nephew Dost Ali as his successor without the formal approval of his superior and the legacy continued up to 1740 in hereditary term.
• Saadat Khan Burhan- ul-Mulk was the founder of the Kingdom of Awadh. who was appointed as the Governor of Awadh in 1722.
• Being a successful soldier and a wise ruler he managed to suppress the refractory zamindars and carried out a revenue settlement in 1723 which protected the interests of the ryots.
• The jurisdiction of Awadh extended to Banaras, Ghazipur, Jaunpur and Chunar under his administration but he got arrested by the military of Nadir Shah in the Battle of Karnal and committed suicide so as to save himself from dishonour.
• The next governor of Awadh was Safdar Jung , the nephew and son-in-law of Saadat Khan, who had to carry on his war against the Rohillas • He signed an agreement with Marathas against Ahmad Shah Abdali with a declaration that Marathas were to be paid ` 50 lakhs, granted the Chauth of the Punjab, Sindh and the Doab in addition to the Subahdari of Ajmer and Agra. However the agreement could not last long and failed as the the Peshwa went over to Safdar Jung’s enemies at Delhi.
• After the death of Safdar Jung his son Shuja-ud Daula took over Awadh Empire and later became the Wazir of Delhi.
• He signed an agreement with the Nawab of Bengal, Mir Qasim as well as with the Emperor Shah Alam II, against the Company. He suffered a crushing defeat in the Battle of Buxar in October 1764.
• Mysore was evolved as an autonomous yet most powerful state of south India during early 18th century under the rule of Hyder Ali.
• He was appointed as the Faujdar of Dindigul in 1755 during the service of Nanjaraja.
• In a very short period he could recognize the military techniques of West and started applying it on his own troop.
• Two major wars were being fought against British under his leadership known as Anglo-Mysore War I and II among which he died in the second war.
• After his death his son took Tipu Sultan took over the charge of Mysore and fought the remaining battle of Anglo-Mysore War II. He defeated the British and signed the Treaty of Mangalore.
• The Marathas and Nizams made alliance along with British sensing the growing power of Tipu Sultan.
• The third Anglo-Mysore War was the result of the conflict between the newly formed alliance and Tipu Sultan where he lost nearly half of his territory.
• Finally in the fourth Anglo-Mysore war Tipu Sultan completely lost his territory.
• The Rajputanas took advantages of weak government of Mughal dynasty and freed themselves from the central control of Mughal Empire.
• The Rajput States were often divided among themselves and engaged in petty quarrels and civil wars.
• Raja Jai Singh of Amber (1699-1743) was considered to be the most eminent ruler of Rajputana during 18th Century. He founded the city of Jaipur on strict architectural principle.
• As a powerful Astronomer, he erected observatories with sophisticated instruments at Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi and Mathura and drew up a set of tables to enable people to make astronomical observations.
• He enforced a law to check the lavish expenditure in daughter’s wedding.
• But in late 18th century Rajputana was conquered by Marathas.
• The kingdom of Punjab was established by Maharaja Ranjit Sing who conquered Kashmir, Peshawar and Multan at a stretch.
• As an efficient administrator and skillful diplomat he built up powerful, well-equipped, army along European lines with the help of European structure. His troop consisted of people from various parts of India.
• He was a tolerant leader in terms of religion and this can be illustrated from the fact that he appointed both Hindu and Muslim minister in his court.
• During Afgans advancement the British forced Ranjit Singh to sign the Treaty of Tripartite in 1838 which gave freedom to the British troops to pass through Punjab.
• It was established by Afghan adventurer Muhammad Khan Bangash which was extended around the territory of Farukkhabad.
• When Nadir Shah invaded India, Ali Muhammad Khan Bangash carved out a separate principality known as Rohilkhand at the foothills of Himalayas between Ganga in South and Kumaon Hills in the North, Aolan in Bareilly and later at Rampur.



The eighteenth century society witnessed two extreme situation of socio-economic condition which stopped its progress socially, culturally and economically. Extreme poverty existed joining hands in hand with extreme rich. The multi layered society was structured on the basis of religion, region, tribe, language, class and caste etc. The increasing revenue demands of the state, the oppression and rapacity of the Zamindars, revenue farmers and the depredation of the adventurers made the life of the people miserable. The lower strata of the society had to bear all sorts injustice and inequalities imposed to them by the upper class. Agriculture was the primary occupation of the people followed by trade.
Though it was the primary occupation of the lower strata of the society of 18th century, it was not much developed. The peasant were used to the age old practices of cultivation which was unable to provide them with greater yield from their piece of land. Additionally the taxes and revenues imposed on them by the Zamindars made the condition even more pathetic. The peasants worked hard with the old technology to get more productivity but all were in vain as the Zamindars, Jagirdars and revenue farmers collected maximum amount of the production.
Trading was the major look out of the people coming under higher strata of the society and extensive trade within and outside the countries were carried out during the Mughal Period.
Different products were being imported from various countries such as pearls, raw silk, wools, dates, dried fruits, and rose water from Persian Gulf; coffee, gold, drugs and honey from Arabia; tea, sugar, porcelain, and silk from China; gold, musk, woolen clothes from Tibet; Tin from Singapore, spices, perfumes, arrack and sugar from Indonesia; ivory and drugs from Africa; woolen clothes and metal such as iron, copper, lead and paper from Europe.
As India was rich and self sufficient in some of the product such as cotton textile, wheat, rice, silk, opium, sugar, pepper, spices precious stones etc, these are largely exported from India to other parts of the world. Consequently export of India was more than its import.


Name and Tenure Well Known For War fought
Robert Clive
(1758-60) and
• Diarchey of Dual Government of Bengal from 1765-72.
• Considered one of the creators of British power in India.
• Battle of Plassey (1757)
• Battle of Condore (1758)
Henry Vansittart
• Deposed Mir Jafar, the Nawab of Bengal, and replaced
him with his son-in-law Mir Qasim.
• Battle of Buxar
Harry Verelst
• Increased tax revenue of the East India Company.
• Exposed corruption within the company.
John Cartier
• The Great Famine of Bengal 1770 occured in his regime
which claimed about two million lives
Warren Hastings
• Founding Asiatic Society of Bengal

• Auctioning the right to collect land revenue to its highest bid• Starting Diwani and Fauzdari Adalats in district level and
Nizam Adalats at Kolkata
• Rohilla war (1774)
• 1st Anglo-Maratha War (1776-82)
• 2nd Anglo-Mysore War (1780-84)
Lord Cornwallis
• Codifying laws in 1793 so as to separate the administration
for revenue and justice
• Abolition of all the superfluous posts.
• Creating the post of District judge.
• Establishment of lower grade court.
• Father of Civil Services in India.
• 3rd Anglo-Mysore War against
Tipu Sultan and signed the treaty
of Srirangapatnam in 1792
Sir John Shore
• 1st Charter of Act in 1793• Battle of Kharda between Nizam
and Marathas in 1793
Lord Wellesley
• Started subsidiary alliance to achieve British dominancy
over India
• Forming Madras Presidency
• 4th Anglo-Mysore war in 1799 and
with defeat and death of Tipu Sulatan
• Treaty of Bassein in 1802
• 2nd Anglo-Maratha war from
1803-1805 defeating Scindia,
Bhonsle and Holkar
Sir George Barlow
• Vellore Mutiny in 1806
Lord Minto (1807-
• Concluding Treaty of Amritsar with Raja Ranjit Singh
• Charter of Act 1813 was passed
Lord Hastings
• Adopting the Policies of intervention and wars
• Forceful implementation humiliating treaties or Peshwas
and Scindias.
• Anglo-Nepalese war (1813-23)
Lord Amherst
• Acquisition of Malayan Peninsular territories
• Capturing Bharatpur
• First Burmese War (1824-26)
Lord William
Bentinck (1833-35)
• Abolition of Sati and other cruel rites in 1829
• Annexation of Mysore.
• Concluding a treaty of perpetual friendship with Ranjit
Singh (1831)
• He was also known as Father of Modern Western Education
in India
• He was last Governor General of Bengal who later
continued his service as the first Governor General of India
from 1833 to 1835
• occupied Coorg and Central
Cachar in 1834 on the plea of
Sir Charles
Metealfe (1834-36)
• Passed the famous Press Law which liberated the press in
Lord Auckland
• Extended irrigation
• Inaugurated famine relief
• 1st Anglo Afgan war (1836-42)
Lord Ellen
borough (1842-44)
• Brought an end to Afgan war.
• Annexed Sindh in 1843
• War with Gwalior (1843)
Lord Hardings
• Gave preference to English education
• Treaty of Lahore in 1846
• 1st Anglo Sikh war (1845-46)


OF INDIA (1858-1947)

Lord Canning (1856-62)
The last Governor General but first viceroy of India who resumed duty in 1858 and continued as viceroy till 1862; Major wars fought were First War of Independence and War with Bhutan. He was well known for imposing 5% income tax on earning of 500. The Indian Council act of 1861 was passed during his tenure. He withdrew the Doctrine of Lapse. The Indian Penal Code of Criminal Procedure was passed in 1859.
He set up universities at Kolkata, Madras and Mumbai.
Lord Elgin I (1862-63)
He had served as Governor of Jamaica and Governor General of Canada before serving as Viceroy of India. He was sent to China as envoy for opening a trade for the British. Wahabi movement took place during his period.
Sir John Lawrence (1864-69)
Started telegraphic communication in India was opened with Europe. Setting up High courts in Kolkata, Mumbai, and Madras. Expanded Canal works and Railways. Advocated state managed railways. Created the Indian Forest Department and recognized native judicial services.
Lord Mayo (1869-72)
Introduced financial decentralization in India. Established Rajkot College at Kathiawar and Mayo college at Jaipur for princes. Organized statistical survey of India. Established Department of Agriculture and Commerce. Introduced state railway. During his time as census was held first time in India in 1871. He was the only viceroy to be murdered by a convict of Andaman in 1872.
Lord Northbook (1872-76)
Abolished income tax. Kuka movement took place in Punjab during his period.
Lord Dufferin (1884-88)
3rd Burma War took place in 1885; Establishment of Indian National Congress in 1885.
Lord Landsdowne (1888-94)
The Second Factory Act was passed in 1891; Indian Council Act was introduced in 1892; Categorized civil services into imperial, provincial and sub-ordinate; Appointment of Durand Commission to define the line between British India and Afghanistan (1893).
Lord Elgin II (1894-99)
Munda uprising by Birsa Munda took place in 1899. Convention delimiting the frontier between China and India was ratified; Great Famine occured during his time in 1896-97; Appointed Lyall Commission after famine in 1897; Assassinated of two British official Rand and Amherst by Chapekar Brothers in 1897.
Lord Lytton (1876-1880)
Pursued free trade and abolished duties on 29 British manufactured goods which accelerated drain of Wealth in India. Arranged Grand Darbar in Delhi (1877). Passed the Royal Title Act (1876). During his tenure Queen Victoria was declared as Kaisar-i-Hind. Passed infamous Vernacular Press Act (1876). Lowered the age limit of Civil Service Exam from 21 to 19.
Lord Rippon (1880-84)
Repeal of Vernacular Press Act in 1882. Passed First Factory Act in 1882 to improve labour condition. Resolution of Local self govt in 1882. Appointment of Hunter Commission for education reforms in 1882. The Ilbert Bill controversy erupted during his period. Enabled Indian district magistrates to try European Criminals.
Lord Curzon (1899-1905)
• Appointed a Police Commission in 1902 under Andrew Frazer; • Set up Universities commission and passed Indian University Act in 1904; • Set up department of Commerce and Industry; • Set up Indian coinage and Paper currency Act in 1899; • Partition of Bengal took place in 1905; created Northwest Frontier Province and Archaeological Survey of India; • Extended railway to a great extent.
Lord Minto II (1905-1910)
• Swadeshi Movement took place in (1905-08); • Foundation of Muslim League in 1906; • Surat Session and Split in Congress in 1907; • News paper in 1908. Morley Minto reforms in 1909.
Lord Hardinge (1910-1916)
• Annulment of the Partition of Bengal (1911); • Transfer of Capital from Calcutta to Delhi; • Delhi Darbar and Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary (1911); • Establishment of Hindu Maha Sabha by Madan Mohan Malviya.
Lord Dalhousie (1848-56) • Abolished titles and pensions • Passed widow Re-marriage Act 1856.
• Introduced “Docterine of Lapse” • Annexed Punjab, lower Burma or Pegu and Awadh.
• Started railway, post and telegraph service.
• 2nd Anglo Sikh war (1848-49) • 2nd Anglo Burmese war, 1852.
Lord Chelmsford (1916-21)
• Home Rule Movement launched by Tilak and Anne Besant in 1916; • Champaran Satyagraha took place in 1917; • Montague’s August declaration in 1917, Kheda Satyagraha and Satyagraha at Ahmedabad in 1918, • Government of India Act, Repressive Rowl-att Act in 1919, • Jalianwala Bagh massacre in 1919, • Khilafat Movement (1920-22), • Non-Co-operation Movement (1920-22), • Saddler Commission (1917).
Lord Reading (1921-26)
• Criminal law Ammendment Act and abolition of cotton excise.
• Repeal of Press Act of 1910 and Rowlatt Act of 1919.
• Violent Moplah rebellion in Kerala (1921).
• Foundation of CPI (1921).
• Chauri Chaura incident in 1922.
• Foundation of Swaraj Party in (1923).
• Kakori Train Dacoity in 1925.
• Foundation of RSS in 1925.
• Murder of Swami Shradhanand in 1926.
Lord Irwin (1926-31)
• Simon Commission announced in 1927; • Butler Commission (1927), • Nehru Report 1928.
• 14 Points of Jinnah in 1929, • Lahore session of Congress and Poorna Swaraj declaration in 1929, • Civil Disobedience Movement 1930, • Dandi March in 1930, • Ist Round table conference in (1930), • Gandhi-Irwin Pact (1931).
• Martyroodom of Jatin Das due to hunger strike.
Lord Willingdon
• 2nd Round Table conference in 1931, • Civil Disobedience movement 1932, • Announcement of Mac Donalds Communal Award in 1932, • 3rd Round Table Conference; • Foundation of Congress Socialist Party in 1934 • Government of India Act 1935, • Burma separated from India (1935), • All India Kisan Sabha (1936), • Poona Pact was signed.
Lord Linlithgow (1936-43)
• General Election held in (1936-37), • Resignation of Congress ministries in 1939, • Deliverance Day of Muslim League in 1939, • Cripps Mission in 1942 Foundation and Forward Block by S. C. Bose (1939), • Lahore Resolution (1940), • August offer (1940) Quit India Movement (1942).
Lord Wavell (1943-47)
• C. Rajgoplachari’s formula in 1944 to solve political deadlocks, • Wavell Plan and Shimla conference in 1945, • INA trial in 1945, • Naval mutiny in 1946, • Cabinet Mission, 1946 and acceptance of its proposal by Congress, • Direct Action day announced by Muslim League on 16th
August, 1946, • First meeting of constituent assembly was held on 9th
Dec, 1946.
Lord Mountbatten (March-August 1947)
• Introduction of Indian Independence Bill in house of commons and passed by the British Parliament on 4th July, 1947, • Appointment of 2 boundary commissions under Sir Cyril Radcliyye, • Announced 3rd June, 1947 Plan.
Governor Generals of Free India (1947-50)
• Lord Mountbatten (1947-48) : He was the first Governor General of free India, Kashmir to be a part of India (Oct. 1947). The Murder of Gandhiji (30th Jan, 1948).
• C. Rajagopalchari (June 1948 – Jan 1950) : He was the last Governor of free India. He was the only Indian Governor General.


The Regulating Act
The Regulating Act of 1773 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain intended to refurbish the management of the East India Company’s rule in India. The company was very much important to British as it was the only company which was trading in India with many influential people as its shareholders.
Provisions of this Act were:
1. The Act cut down Company dividends to 6% until it repaid a £1.5M loan along with restricting the term of the Court of Directors to 4 years.
2. It prohibited the servants of company from engaging in any private trade or accepting presents or bribes from the natives.
3. It elevated the position of Governor of Bengal to Governor-General of Bengal during the period of Warren Hastings with the subsumption of the presidencies of Madras and Bombay under Bengal’s control.
4. According to the act four men were to be appointed by British government in the name of “Council of Four” to serve the Supreme Council of Bengal.
5. A supreme court was established at Fort William at Calcutta under the provision of the act stating that British judges were to be sent to India to administer the British legal system that was used there.
The Pitt’s India Act
The Pitt’s India Act, was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which was passed by East India Company in 1784 so as to address the shortcomings of the Regulating Act of 1773.
Provisions of this Act were:
1. With the Pitts India Act of 1784, East India Company’s political functions were differentiated from its commercial activities.
2. In political matters, the company which was till now working as somewhat sovereign was made directly subordinate to the British government.
3. To enable this, a Board of Commissioners was created, which was called Board of Control.
4. 6 people viz. the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Secretary of State, and four Privy Councilors, nominated by the King were the members of this Board of Control.
5. The Secretary of the State was entitled as the President of the Board of Control. This Board of control was empowered to control all matters of civil or military government or revenues.
6. The board was given full access to the company’s records. It had the powers to send Governors to India and full authority to alter them.
The Charter Act of 1793
The Charter Act of 1793 extended the commercial privileges of the company for a further period of twenty years. Lord Cornwallis was given special power at the time of his appointment, to override his Council but it was not extended to all Governors or Governors General by the Charter of 1793.
Provisions of this Act were:
1. The Governor General was granted extensive powers over the subordinate presidencies.
2. The Governor General’s power of over-ruling his council was affirmed, and extended over the Governors of the subordinate presidencies.
3. Senior officials were forbidden from leaving India without permission.
4. Royal approval was mandated for the appointment of the Governor General, the governors, and the Commander-in-Chief.
5. The EIC was empowered to grant licences to both individuals and Company employees to trade in India (known as the “privilege” or “country” trade), which paved the way for shipments of opium to China.
The Charter Act of 1813
The Charter Act of 1813 renewed the tenures of the commercial privileges of the Company. Moreover the Charter of 1813, envisaged that the Company should function as the commercial body wholly. Its political function was limited considerably.
Provisions of this Act were:
1. The monopoly of trade of the company was abolished except in tea and its trade with china.
2. Church was placed under a Bishop which was maintained from Indian revenue. Englishmen were granted permission to settle and hold land in India. The Christian Missionaries were allowed to spread their religion in India.
3. The crown had Complete power over territorial and revenue.
4. For the improvement of education, grant of rupees one lakh every year was allotted.
The Charter Act of 1833
The Charter Act of 1833 granted a lease to the Company for further twenty years. The Act introduced centralization in the legislative and administrative function and provided the abolition of slavery thereby brought several changes in the Constitution of India. The Charter Act of 1833 was a turning point in the history of modern India.
Provisions of this Act were:
1. The monopoly of all trade of the company was abolished.
2. All restrictions on European immigration into India and acquisition of land and property in India removed.
3. A Law Commission was constituted for codification of laws.
4. The debts of the company were taken over by the Indian government which agreed to pay its shareholders a 10.5% dividend on their capital out of the Indian revenues for the next 40 years.
5. Section 87 of the Act declared that no person can be disqualified for any place in the company’s service by reason of caste, colour, creed or place of birth.
6. The Charter Act of 1833 afforded to the Indians an opportunity of entering into the company’s service.
7. The merit became the basis for employment in government services and the religion, birth place were not be the Criteria.
The Charter Act of 1853
The Charter Act of 1853 renewed the powers of the company but did not mention the specific time period. It allowed the company to retain the possession of the Indians territories in trust of Her Majesty. It also provided the scope for thorough revisions of the existing legislative procedure.
Provisions of this act were:
1. Laid foundation of Parliamentary system of Government, the executive and legislative separated. Legislative Assembly functioned in the model of British Parliament.
2. Renewed the term of East India Company for an indefinite period; 3. Reduced the number of Board of Directors from 24 to 18 and 6 out of them were nominated; 4. Indian Civil Service became an open competition.
Macaulay made Chairman of the Committee.
5. The Act for the first time introduced local representation in the Indian (Central) Legislative Council. The Governor-General’s Council had six new legislative members. They were appointed by the local (provincial) governments of Madras, Bombay, Bengal and Agra.
6. The Act separated, for the first time, the legislative and executive functions of the Governor General’s Council.
The Government of India Act, 1858
1. Rule of company in India ended and the rule of crown started.
2. System of Dual government ended. Court of Directors and Board of control abolished and substituted them with a post of secretary of state.
3. Secretary of State governed India through the Governor General.
4. Governor General received the title of Viceroy who represented Secretary of State.
5. A highly centralised administrative structure was created.
The Indian Council Act, 1861
The first ever constitutional structure was formulated in 1861. The British Government passed the Legislative Council Act to introduce better provisions for the Governor General’s Council and for Local Government.
Provisions of this Act were:
1. The three separate presidencies (Madras, Bombay and Bengal) were brought into a common system.
2. System of legislative devolution in India was inaugurated.
3. The Act added to the Viceroy’s Executive Council a fifth member – a jurist.
4. For purposes of legislation, the Viceroy’s Executive Council was expanded by the addition of not less than six and not more than 12 additional members, who would be nominated by the Governor General and would hold office for two years. Therefore, the total membership increased to 17.
The Indian Council Act, 1892
The Government introduced another Act known as the Indian Councils Act of 1892 which could not ensure the maximum safeguards to the Muslims. For which the leaders of Muslim community felt for a separate electorate to protect the Muslim Interest.
Provisions of this Act were:
1. The number of the non-official members, in the Central and Provincial Legislative Councils were increased.
However, the official members were still in majority.
2. The members of the Legislative Councils were given the right to put questions. They were also authorized to discuss the annual budget.
3. The local bodies were given right to send their elected members to the Legislative Councils.
Indian Press Act, 1910
It revived the worst features of the Vernacular Press Act – Local government was empowered to demand a security at registration from the printer or publisher.
Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Gujarati, Konkani, Malayalam, Kashmiri and Marathi were added in new Vernacular language and literature.

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